Everybody hates mosquito bites, but kids really have no patience for them. This summer, protect your kids – and yourself – from the itching, scratching, and complaining that follows a less than ideal encounter with one of the summer’s most irritating flying pests. Our experts at Palmetto Mosquito Control give their top tips for mosquito control and prevention tips for kids.
The Best Mosquito Control & Prevention Tips for Kids
Unfortunately, these pesky little creatures like to make your summer adventures less pleasant. Oftentimes, our first instinct as parents is to spray our kids and ourselves with bug repellent without asking too many questions, because no one wants to be scratching at bug bites. But before you start whipping out your over-the-counter products and synthetic bug sprays, there are a few techniques that you can employ to help keep your children bug bite-free this summer.
Layer Up With Preventative Clothing
Clothing is possibly the best and easiest way to shield your children and yourself from biting pests like mosquitoes, ticks, and chiggers. Use fabric to cover as much skin as possible – long sleeves, close-toed shoes, and long pants tucked into socks.
We know Southern summers get hot and humid, so try to find moisture-wicking, loose-fitting and breathable materials to avoid overheating. Some even have built-in SPF to protect you from the sun’s strong and harmful UV rays. Try to avoid bright, floral prints and colors, as these can naturally attract the pests that you are trying to avoid.
If you have a child that refuses to put on certain clothing, try incorporating softer fabrics that are more comfortable and let them have a say in what they wear so it makes getting dressed easier. Simply give some basic rules (the fewer, the better). For infants and toddlers, mosquito netting can be laid over strollers to protect their extra sensitive skin.
Avoid Pest-Luring Perfumes
Sweet fruity and floral scents are especially pungent lures for many pests. Oftentimes, children’s soaps, shampoos, lotions, and other personal care products are heavily scented, which may explain all of the newfound mosquito bites after playing outside.
Some scents may be used to repel mosquitoes, though. Products containing citronella, peppermint, eucalyptus, garlic, and lavender are popular alternatives to traditional bug sprays. If you plan on using products with these ingredients that go directly on the skin, make sure to do your research beforehand. Some, including the oil of lemon eucalyptus (different from lemon eucalyptus essential oil), are not approved for use on kids below a certain age.
You can also place a few strong citronella candles around your patio or backyard playground set when your kids are playing outside. Another great natural option is landscaping with mosquito-repelling plants in high-traffic areas of your yard. Turn gardening into a fun summertime project with your kids, watching them grow together!
Mosquito Proof Your Backyard
These can all be effective measures in eliminating you and your kids’ risk of a mosquito bite, but the best move is to stop mosquitoes at their source. That means doing a thorough sweep of your yard, especially around play areas. Make sure to eliminate any sources of standing water where mosquitoes can breed by regularly cleaning out birdbaths, unclogging roof gutters, and emptying kiddie pools, toys, tire swings, treehouses, trash cans, flowerpots, and more.
Prepare a Post-Bite Treatment
Nothing is worse than being unprepared when you have an upset child. It’s best to have supplies on hand should you or your child get a few unexpected welts this mosquito season. The best way to treat a mosquito bite is to clean it with soap and water and resist the urge to scratch, which can be hard for young children to avoid.
Apply hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion to the welt to relieve the itching temporarily. Cover the bite with a Band-Aid, one that has their favorite cartoon character or superhero, to distract from the scratching.
No one wants to come home covered in bug bites after an outdoor adventure, but occasional exposure is likely. As a last resort, using a safe bug spray containing DEET, Picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus may be your best bet when away from home and in a pinch. But there is a much more effective way to make your backyard a safe place to play for your kids.
Invest in Long-Term Mosquito Control Solutions
Our Palmetto Mosquito Control specialists can help you protect your home, your pets, and your family from mosquitoes, gnats, and other flying pests. After performing a free pest inspection around your home, we will outline the problem areas and the best mosquito treatment plan based on your budget and needs.
We offer several different mosquito control solutions, including quarterly mosquito barrier treatments and a seamless mosquito misting system. For residential areas with common spaces such as pools, playgrounds, and walking paths, we offer neighborhood mosquito control treatments. All of our EPA-approved services are family and pet-friendly, so you don’t have to worry about any harmful chemicals. We even provide green mosquito control solutions for parents who simply prefer a more natural alternative to traditional insecticides.
For more information about our reliable mosquito control solutions, contact us today or set up your free pest inspection!